Taste Of Lingonberries: Fresh, Frozen, Jams, Juice + More

Care Omnia Lingonberries In Pot
You have to try Lingonberries. Add it to your bucket list!

Lingonberries are small, red delicious berries that are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

They go perfectly well with Swedish meatballs. But what do lingonberries taste like?

Lingonberries have a rather special sour, tart taste with a touch of sweetness.

There is much you can do with lingonberries to change the flavor to your liking. For instance, try mixing them with other berries or fruits.

A personal favorite of mine is lingonberries with banana. It's a match made in heaven!

Lingonberries are quite useful in cooking as they're not only tart but also a bit sour and sweet.

Table of Contents

Lingonberries Compared To Cranberries

Lingonberries and cranberries are often compared to each other.

They do look similar and the taste is also similar but not quite.

If you compare lingonberries taste to cranberries you'll notice that cranberries are a bit more sour, while lingonberries are more tart.

When it comes to the sweetness, you can't blame either of the berries to be too sweet.

Lingonberries and cranberries are good alternatives to each other in recipes.

We've Also Put Our Family Through Taste Tests

To give you a better idea about the taste of lingonberries we use our very own non-scientific taste test we call the "Care Omnia Taste Test". This time we tasted lingonberry products.

We served fresh lingonberries, frozen lingonberries, traditional lingonberry jam, the more healthy raw-stirred lingonberry jam and some lingonberry juice to our children, and ourselves of course.

We got our three children aged 4, 9 and 13 and then me, Sara, and my husband Peter, to test all of the products and give a "grade" on them.

You can see the results of our tests in each section below that covers a different variety of lingonberries.

1. What Do Fresh Lingonberries Taste like?

Fresh lingonberries taste a little sweet, sour with a hint of tartness.

That's especially true if you eat the lingonberries raw, directly from the bush or frozen without added sugar.

Lingonberries are naturally sour with a hint of sweetness to them with soft flesh inside the berry.

Frostbitten lingonberries are more sweet

If you want the berries to have a sweeter taste, a trick is to wait to pick them until the first frost.

The taste changes after they've been frostbitten and they actually become a bit sweeter.

You can do this with picked berries as well, just put them in the freezer and they'll become sweeter.

Lingonberries contain quite a lot of fruit sugar, so you would think that it has a sweet taste to it.

But the sweetness pales in comparison with its sour and tart flavor.

 Lingonberries are bitter, sour and sweet. All at the same time! Try it out, it really is special! #HealthyBerries #HealthyFood #HealthyLiving 
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The result of our taste test of fresh lingonberries

Fresh lingonberries have a quite strong flavor that is tart and sweet at the same time.

Where we live we usually can find both lingonberries and blueberries in the woods at the same time during a short period, about a month.

At that time our children actually rather go for the blueberries than the lingonberries.

Care Omnia Fresh Lingonberries Taste Test
Care Omnia Fresh Lingonberries Taste Test Results

As you can see in this taste test, the children weren't that fond of the lingonberry flavor.

Our 9 year old was not impressed aaaargh...what is this?!? It's sour and bitter and sweet?!? at the same time? And then he bolted to the kitchen faucet to get water to drink...

Nor was our 13 year old mmm...erm... well..., all the while her face told us everything... Not good, too sour!... she didn't need to drink water afterwards though...

I think the flavor is really intense! Works with a lot of dishes.

While my husband couldn't get enough Nice! Love the flavors! Give me more! He actually ate the whole bowl of berries when the test was done.

2. What Do Frozen Lingonberries Taste like?

Frozen lingonberries, without added sugar, tastes a bit sweeter than fresh raw lingonberries.

A little more sweet but still that sourness with a hint of tartness in them like the fresh one's.

You don't have to thaw frozen lingonberries to be able to enjoy them. It’s quite delicious to have frozen berries in a yogurt or on your oatmeal.

If you buy frozen lingonberries, the manufacturer sometimes adds sugar to the berries. The sugars sweetness brings down some of the sour taste of the lingonberries.

However, there are frozen berries that don't have added sugar.

I recommend that you buy the unsweetened ones because you can always add sugar yourself if you want them a bit sweeter.

But of course, the best option is to freeze berries that you've picked yourself. Then you know exactly what you're eating.

The shelf-life of the frozen lingonberries is not affected by added sugar, it's just there to give you the flavor you want.

We have a recommendation for frozen lingonberries in our Recommended By Care Omnia for Lingonberries page if you're interested in trying it out.

The result of our taste test of frozen lingonberries

Frozen lingonberries are just the same as fresh ones, especially when we don't buy sweetened lingonberries.

But we thought it could be interesting to try them frozen and see if there was a difference in the taste compared to the fresh one's.

Care Omnia Frozen Lingonberries Taste Test
Care Omnia Frozen Lingonberries Taste Test Results

There was not that much of differences in the taste. I think that the frozen berries don't have the same intensity in flavors as the fresh one's. But the tartness is still there though.

Our 4 year old was actually the only one that thought is was very different from the fresh berry. He said Wow! Thumbs up...

But then after about 2 minutes, after he heard what his siblings thought about them, It was really nice at first, then after a while... sour and well not so good, but okay!

3. What Does Traditional Lingonberry Jam Taste Like?

Traditional lingonberry jam is found in almost every Swedish household.

It's just that common.

It's used in and with a broad variety of foods and the traditional one, made much like any other jam, is the most common one.

We prefer the raw-stirred kind but you can't argue with the millions of Swedes that choose the traditional one over the raw-stirred.

The result of our taste test of traditional lingonberry jam

Traditional lingonberry jam usually contains a lot of sugar. We like to keep the sugar intake down in our family, but in jam there's always some amount of sugar.

Care Omnia Traditional Lingonberry Jam Taste Test
Care Omnia Traditional Lingonberry Jam Taste Test Results

The traditional lingonberry jam has a nice flavor that is not as sharp as fresh lingonberries.

Our 4 year old and 9 year old both gave a thumbs up nice!. But the 13 year old made a face and said I really don't like lingonberries.

Me and my husband on the other hand, liked it. But we both think that it's a bit on the sweet side.

4. What Does Raw-Stirred Lingonberry Jam Taste Like?

There is a lingonberry jam in Sweden that's made slightly different than the regular lingonberry jam. In Sweden, it's called raw-stirred lingonberries.

The taste of the raw-stirred lingonberry jam is slightly more powerful and less sweet compared to regular lingonberry jam.

The raw-stirred lingonberries contain more of the beneficial healthy nutrients from the berry itself since it hasn't been heated in the same way as the regular lingonberry jam.

I recommend you make your own raw-stirred lingonberries if you get the chance. I've written an article about 11 different substitutes for lingonberry jam, if you wish to read about how to make your own raw-stirred lingonberries.

If you're interested in trying out the raw-stirred version of lingonberry jam, be sure to check out our Recommended By Care Omnia for Lingonberries page for our top recommendation.

The result of our taste test of raw-stirred lingonberry jam

Raw-stirred lingonberry jam is a lot like the traditional jam but not quite and it's the healthier choice.

The raw-stirred is so easy to make yourself if you have fresh berries but want them little sweeter and in jam form.

Care Omnia Raw-Stirred Lingonberry Jam Taste Test
Care Omnia Raw-Stirred Lingonberry Jam Taste Test Results

When we tried this jam it was the 9 year old that was all smiles.

Our 13 year old said tastes more sugary, but then ... no... This made me wonder about her taste buds, as the sugar content in raw-stirred is lower than the traditional one...

My husband said this tastes more natural, really good! and I have to agree with him.

There is something special with the raw-stirred versions of most jams and especially the lingonberry one.

5. What Does Lingonberry Juice Taste Like?

Lingonberry juice is delicious to drink with your meal.

It's usually not too sweet or too sour but has an acidity that fits well with almost every dish. I recommend it for meat and poultry.

If you think the juice tastes too much, I recommend you dilute it with some water or throw in some ice cubes. It's one of my favorite beverages in summer; lingonberry juice with a lot of ice. I call it "Red berry on the rocks".

Here is a recipe on a nice lingonberry juice!

My Lingonberry Juice Recipe

Lingonberry juice
Juice from lingonberries works wonders hot or cold.

Juice from lingonberries works wonders hot or cold.

Category: Juice
Cuisine: Scandinavian

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (About 5 servings)

  • 3 cups of lingonberries
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar


  1. Wash or thaw the lingonberries
  2. Mash together lingonberry with sugar in a pot and pour in the water
  3. Heat while stirring
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Strain the juice carefully


There's also delicious lingonberry juices to buy, if you're not able to make the juice yourself. You just have to be sure to get the right one. Take a look at our Recommended By Care Omnia: Lingonberries.

The result of our taste test of lingonberry juice

Lingonberry juice is fantastic. It fits very well to drink with food.

In Sweden you often find lingonberry juice as a alternative in lunch restaurants.

It's not too sweet and not too sour. The tarty flavor is there together with some sweetness.

Care Omnia Lingonberry Juice Taste Test
Care Omnia Lingonberry Juice Taste Test Results

This is something almost all of us finds tasty.

The 4 year old and the 9 year old wanted more and went to the kitchen to get new glasses.

The 13 year old shrugged and said still don't like lingonberries. Oh well...

I really like the tarty flavor of the lingonberry juice. I find it refreshing. Peter also loves it, so we always have some in the fridge.

6. What Do Dried Lingonberries Taste like?

The taste of dried lingonberries is very close to the taste of dried cranberries. They both have the same tart taste.

The quite strong sour flavor of fresh lingonberries is not that strong in the dried ones.

Fresh lingonberries can, like berries in general, be dried. I eat them as "nutri-bombs" as they are, as a healthy snack or throw them in a salad. It gives the meal an extra touch.

When you dry berries you keep all it's nutrients contained. This means that the dried berry is just as nutritious and tasty as the fresh berry.

You can buy dried lingonberries in well-stocked stores but if you pick your own lingonberries you can, of course, dry them yourself.

Take a look at our Recommended By Care Omnia for Lingonberries if you're interested in what dried berries to buy.

Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to test dried lingonberries.

7. What Does Lingonberry Powder Taste Like?

Lingonberry powder is made from all natural and fresh lingonberries. The lingonberry powder has the same beautiful and delicious taste as fresh lingonberries. The taste is a little sweet, sour with a hint of tartness.

The lingonberries are picked by hand and then the whole berries are dried carefully and very quickly after harvest. You dry the whole berry because you want to preserve all the nutrients in the lingonberry.

After you've carefully dried the berries you grind it into a fine powder. Nothing is added. Lingonberry powder is made from 100% natural lingonberries.

You usually don’t eat the lingonberry powder as it is. It's mixed in or sprinkled on food or drink. This gives you great freedom in deciding how much lingonberry flavor you want.

If you want to read more about the fantastic beneficial properties the lingonberry powder has, you can read an article we’ve written on the subject.

We recommend a lingonberry powder in our Recommended By Care Omnia for Lingonberries if you're interested in trying it out.

Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to test lingonberries in powder form.

8. What Does Lingonberry Tea Taste Like?

Care Omnia Cup Of Tea

Lingonberry tea has a slightly bitter taste. The sour characteristic of fresh lingonberries is not prominent in the tea.

Lingonberry tea is a favorite during cold winter days.

It's usually made from dried lingonberry leaves but can also be made from the berries themselves.

Tea made of lingonberry leaves but also lingonberry juice has used for a long time, to treat or ease urinary tract infections.

So, it's both delicious and good for you at the same time!

It's easy to make the tea yourself

My Personal Favorite: Make Your Own Smoothie With Lingonberries!

You can make a tasty lingonberry smoothie in your own kitchen with just the ingredients you like.

This way you can balance the flavors just how you like them.

A good tip that fits well together with lingonberries in a smoothie is banana.

Because you don't heat a smoothie, you get all the beneficial nutrients from the lingonberry while at the same time adding other flavors that you like.

I recommend using other sweet berries or fruits to balance the sourness.

Here is a tip on an amazing smoothie that I love! You can try it as is, or change the ingredients to whatever you desire.

My Lingonberry and Banana Smoothie

Lingonberry and Banana Smoothie
This smoothie will make you smile. The mix of lingonberries and banana works, it just works!

This smoothie will make you smile. The mix of lingonberries and banana works, it just works!

Category: Smoothie
Cuisine: Scandinavian

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients (2 big glasses)

  • 2 cups of frozen lingonberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 cups milk or coconut milk
  • 1 cup natural yogurt


  1. Mix lingonberry, banana in pieces, yogurt and milk with a mixer or food processor
  2. Pour up in 2 glasses


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Conclusion: Lingonberries Are Delicious

Care Omnia favorite meal with oven pancake, both traditional and raw-stirred lingberry jam and lingonberry juice
Personal favorite of mine!

I will say that the lingonberry does have a unique flavor.

It’s a taste you might need to get used to/acquire but chances are you'll fall in love with it from the start.

Either way, In the end, there's not a better way to find out what you think about this amazing berry than to try it yourself.

The number of different flavors you can bring out from it if you mix it with other fruits, berries or foods is almost infinite.

Perhaps you're one of those that might not like the taste of fresh lingonberries, but I'm sure that a smoothie with lingonberries and banana will do the trick!

My thoughts about the taste test results

Well, it's hard to say. My husband doesn't lie about foods and what he thinks about it so I have to give him that. He liked or even loved all the tests we did today.

Lingonberries for children... maybe better in other forms than fresh ones. Our younger family members loved the jams and the juice. Hmm... perhaps it's the sugar they actually love...

For me? I'm maybe a bit more towards the products made of Lingonberries than the fresh ones.

The raw-stirred for example is something I find absolutely fantastic!

So my conclusion of our taste tests is that lingonberries seem to have a more "grown up flavor".

I wish you good luck on your lingonberry flavor adventures!

Are lingonberries sour?

Raw lingonberries have a sour taste, but you can also find both sweetness and tartness in them. The lingonberry is naturally a sour berry, only slightly sweet with soft flesh inside the berry. Traditional lingonberry jam on the other hand usually contains a lot of sugar which makes it much harder to sense the sour taste. Raw-stirred lingonberry jam, with less added sugar than the traditional one, does however bring out more of the natural sourness of the berries.

Does lingonberry flavor resemble cranberry?

Yes, lingonberries and cranberries are often compared to each other. The two berries are quite similar, both in looks and taste, but there are some small differences. Cranberries are a bit more sour and their sweetness is a bit more distinctive than lingonberries. Lingonberries are however more tart which combined with less sourness and sweetness clearly differentiates their taste from cranberries.

Can you change the flavor of lingonberries?

Yes, there is actually a trick you can do if you if you prefer sweet over sour. Wait to pick the berries until the first frost has come. The taste of the berries changes after they've been frostbitten and they actually become a bit sweeter. You can also do this trick in you freezer, by freezing the lingonberries for at least 24 hours before you make something out of them.

Can you eat lingonberries raw?

Yes! You can eat the berries directly from the bush. To eat the lingonberries raw is one of the best ways to get all the health benefits from the berry.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.